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Banking on Death (1961)

por Emma Lathen

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: John Putnam Thatcher (1)

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2305116,905 (3.92)13
The Sloan receives a request for an advance against a trust that does not permit it. John Putnam Thatcher gets involved by one heir, Arthur Schneider, President of Schneider Manufacturing, and grandson of the founder who left a trust for his grandchildren upon the death of all of their parents. The last parent is about to die from natural causes. One heir is missing and Thatcher, Trinkam, and Nicholls, all Emma Lathen regulars work to find the missing heir. Soon they learn a murder is involved and it takes Thatcher to unravel the Gordian knot. Emma Lathen at her best.… (mais)
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Mostrando 5 de 5
I've read this in one day while laid up in bed and feeling extremely poorly, and it was the perfect comfort read for the occasion (not many things would have been). Have now ordered the next volume to keep in store for the next time I could use a bit of John Putnam Thatcher to put things right. ( )
  littlegreycloud | Oct 8, 2023 |
My mother, an avid reader of crime fiction, was a huge fan of Emma Lathen’s books, and I remember she had a collection of the Penguin editions, all with start black and white covers. The principal protagonist of the series was the doughty John Puttnam Thatcher, Vice President of the Sloan Guaranty Bank, and the context for the various murders that occurred was generally that of financial crime.

Given my mother’s penchant for them, and my own past as a tax inspector (and one in particular who for several years dealt with ‘inter vivos’ settlements), I am surprised that I didn’t turn to them earlier. This is the first in the series, and represented a pretty capable debut. Now more than sixty years since it was first published, the story has borne up to the test of time fairly well.

The plot is sufficiently watertight and robust to have weathered the passage of time. One aspect that has dated significantly is the way the female characters are described – I found myself labouring under a torrent of male chauvinism, all the more notable for the fact that the writer was female. Indeed, let me correct myself – the writers were plural: ‘Emma Lathen’ was a pseudonym adopted by two women (one a successful lawyer, the other a financier), constructed to represent their own respective names.

Still, despite that one cavil, I found this sufficiently entertaining to want to proceed with the series. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jul 18, 2023 |
I liked it, and was somewhat surprised, because I recall attempting it earlier (like, 40 years earlier) and perhaps I was too young to be interested in trust accounts. But not now! I remember my disappontment at the Ava Lee series (too much violence, not enough forensic accounting), so I was pleased that the rules of the trust were laid out clearly.

The book follows a familiar format of older amateur sleuth, younger protégé, and helpful police officer, but handles it well. I was always engaged, never wanted to toss away the book in anger (thank goodness, it's on my Kindle), and it was well-paced and plotted. (Louise Penny, take note: you could use a trim).

The knowledge that Emma Lathen is actually two people writing as one is also a warning sign (I don't get how it's possible--I'm a writer myself, and I can imagine people making suggestions, or contributing a joke, but not co-writing), but it read like a single voice, bravo. Or brava. Bravi? There's two of them.

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). I feel a lot of readers automatically render any book they enjoy 5, but I grade on a curve! ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
When a missing person who has delayed the distribution of a family trust turns up dead, John Putnam Thatcher must find which member of the family firm has resorted to murder for money. Good start to a marvelous series. ( )
  Bjace | Nov 22, 2010 |
I was not impressed. Ms. Lathen does not give us interesting characters or the opportunity to work along with the protagonist to solve the crime. At least it's pretty short. ( )
  Jim53 | Apr 13, 2009 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Emma Lathenautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Lombardero, JosephArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Melo, JohnArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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The Sloan receives a request for an advance against a trust that does not permit it. John Putnam Thatcher gets involved by one heir, Arthur Schneider, President of Schneider Manufacturing, and grandson of the founder who left a trust for his grandchildren upon the death of all of their parents. The last parent is about to die from natural causes. One heir is missing and Thatcher, Trinkam, and Nicholls, all Emma Lathen regulars work to find the missing heir. Soon they learn a murder is involved and it takes Thatcher to unravel the Gordian knot. Emma Lathen at her best.

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